Let the Hypeness In

More

by Oliver Wang

This is apropos of nothing but I was recently driving my in-laws' car and they had Sirius/XM on it and while twiddling through the "decade stations" (i.e. "The 70s on 7!"), one happened to be playing this:

Which, of course, automatically made me think of this:








Blvd. Mosse: U Can't Escape the Hypeness (1990)

Produced by the late, great Tony D, this was one of better Jersey hip-hop tunes of its era and frankly, was always kind of genius to me in recognizing the funky potential of a Paul McCartney track.[1 + 2]

And then that got me thinking about other examples of generally-unfunky-rock-dudes-playing-funky-piano, including:


This is Billy Joel, before he was "Billy Joel". The Beatnuts murdered this on an unreleased cut (I'm guessing sample clearance prevented it from coming out officially).[3]

And then, inevitably, that brought me to this:

Which then has to be followed by this:

My friend and colleague Eric Weisbard gave a rather kick-ass paper on Elton's song at the EMP Pop Conference in 2008 which discussed how the song was always in this liminal space between rock and R&B (it hit #1 on BOTH the pop and R&B charts). The Biz knew what he was doing.



Notes:

[1] In all fairness to Sir Paul, let's also point out that his solo career also laced the world with this gem.

[2] By the way, gotta give big props here to Hua who was the first guy to turn me onto the Blvd. Mosse single, back in the early '00s. The single blew me away then and it still does today.

[3] There is, of course, the other "obvious" Joel cut , so beautifully given new life by Marley Marl and Kool G Rap.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Breathtaking Tour Above the Moab Desert

Filmmaker Ian Cresswell rigs an HD camera atop a remote-controlled "octocopter" for some spectacular aerial views.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In